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New material repairs teeth and fractured vertebrae

2008-09-09

Dental and medical care is constantly looking for new materials to improve care procedures. In his doctoral dissertation Jesper Lööf has worked with a compound that can both reduce the risk of developing tooth decay after oral interventions and repair collapsed vertebrae.

New research at the Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, has identified a material that can enhance both dental and orthopedic care.  Jesper Lööf shows in his dissertation that calcium aluminate has a range of properties that materials lack today.
 
Caclium aluminate as a biomaterial is a relatively new and unresearched area where Uppsala and Uppsala University are on the cutting edge of progress.  When calcium-aluminate comes into contact with saliva and bodily fluids, it forms the compound apatite, which is very similar to the material in our teeth and skeleton.  This makes it less likely to irritate the pulp of a tooth.  It also provides an extremely tight transition between the material and the tooth, reducing the risk of bacteria gathering in the cracks and leading to tooth decay.  The compound also has several other properties that make it attractive for orthopedics.  One of these is that it doesn’t become so hot when it stiffens.
 
“This is an important property,” says Jesper Lööf.  “Previous materials develop high temperatures as they harden, which can pose a problem when you use the materials in the body.”
 
Jesper Lööf is now continuing his work to create products based on calcium aluminate with the company Doxa AB in Uppsala.  Among other things, they have developed a dental cement for fastening crowns and bridges.  They are also working on a cement for repairing collapsed vertabrae.
 
“The cement stabilizes the fractured vertebrae, which makes the pain go away,” says Jesper Lööf.
 
For more information, please contact Jesper Lööf, cell phone: +46 (0)70-324 34 91. E-mail: jesper.loof@angstrom.uu.se